Best racquet for a 4.0, 55 year old?

I've been playing a lot of tennis with my dad since the summer. He used to play a lot in college and early years of working and is around a 4.0. He's been playing with an old Head racket for awhile since he lost his old racket (don't even know the brand honestly, I think it was a prestrung one), but I think it's time for an upgrade and have been looking a lot into the best racket for him. He is an all-court player, and is able to sustain pretty intense rallies while running around the court. He approaches the net often and loves to slice (his best shot by far!). He does have shoulder issues though, so stiffness should probably be on the lower end, but he can still generate his own power, so he doesn't need something super light. All this into account, I'm having "analysis paralysis" and need suggestions for rackets along these lines. I've read a few reviews on the Prince Phantom Pro 100, but I'd love to hear other suggestions.

EDIT: The Head racket is a Head Titanium 3000, oversized
 
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Crocodile

Legend
Pro Kennex Tour 325 and Black Ace 315
Angell K7 Red or Lime
Yonex V Core 95 and 98
Prince Phantom 100P and Tour 100P
Diadem Elevate MP
Tecnifibre TF 40 315
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I‘ve heard the new Pro Kennex Black Ace is very arm friendly. Also, the Ezone 100 is a nice feeling & playing stick.

I’d also recommend looking into some extended length rackets like the Ezone 98/100 plus. The extended rackets offer more power without sacrificing other areas.
 

etd

Rookie
Do you happen to know which racquets your Dad used in college and during his early years of working.

Also, what is the old Head racquet that he is playing with now.

Does he have any brand preferences.

The Prince Phantom Pro 100 has received good reviews. I haven't tried it myself.
 

Dragy

Legend
Shoulder issues for tennis players are more frequently associated with using too heavy sticks and/or putting in too much effort to accelerate player's arm, rather than frame stiffness which pummels elbows and wrists dominantly. So unless there's chance to work on his techniques ingraining better use of legs and core and taking the toll off his shoulder to produce power, I'd be looking for some help from equipment. I don't say he needs a game improvement frame though. but what's worth trying is a moderate upgrade for easier power. Anything 290-300g unstrung with 100 sq.in. head, 16x19 pattern, SW of 320+/- and mid-level stiffness may be perfect. Fine-tune with string setup (multi might play great).
- 290g Textreme Tour 100
- New 360+ Instinct MP
- 360+ Speed MP
- Ezone 100 (stiffer, but not harsh as reported)
all solid racquets allowing to play all-court game and focus on competition, not fighting equipment.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I would suggest the 2020 Yonex Ezone 100. It's a modern racquet and not stiff at all, the frame works for many facets of the game, serve, ground strokes and volleys. He could string with a number of different string set ups to find the one that best suits his game.
 

gvsbdisco

Semi-Pro
I've been playing a lot of tennis with my dad since the summer. He used to play a lot in college and early years of working and is around a 4.0. He's been playing with an old Head racket for awhile since he lost his old racket (don't even know the brand honestly, I think it was a prestrung one), but I think it's time for an upgrade and have been looking a lot into the best racket for him. He is an all-court player, and is able to sustain pretty intense rallies while running around the court. He approaches the net often and loves to slice (his best shot by far!). He does have shoulder issues though, so stiffness should probably be on the lower end, but he can still generate his own power, so he doesn't need something super light. All this into account, I'm having "analysis paralysis" and need suggestions for rackets along these lines. I've read a few reviews on the Prince Phantom Pro 100, but I'd love to hear other suggestions.
Blade 98 16x19
Gravity Tour
prince TT310/290
 
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mark b.

Rookie
I'm in his age group and a 4.0 too. He won't like something super stiff. I can second/third the vote for the Yonex Ezone100 as I played if for a few years. Good solid frame. The Prince racquets are great, but I would take a serious look at the Prince Textreme Tour 100P. I think that racquet is the goldilocks frame for guys over 55. Get that one.
 

jxs653

Semi-Pro
Resist the others' idea that certain class or categroies of racquets are certain level of players or ages.
I agree. The most misleading a thing when talking of racquet is to group them like player's/tweener's/beginner's racquets. There is no such a thing.
Shoulder issues for tennis players are more frequently associated with using too heavy sticks and/or putting in too much effort to accelerate player's arm, rather than frame stiffness which pummels elbows and wrists dominantly.
I second this statement from my own experience, and for this reason alone I wouldn't recommend longer length racquet for one who has shoulder problems.
 
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max

Legend
Of course, light stiff frames may make a player over swing and cause hurt. A player his age (my age) can handle a 12 oz. frame if he'd like. I think the Black Ace is a sensible option and the Prince lineup.
 

ryushen21

Hall of Fame
Another vote for the 2020 EZone 100. It's got modern power but has some nice touches of classic feel that he should appreciate. Even strung with full poly it is not a harsh or stiff feeling frame.
 

Lorenn

Semi-Pro
I've been playing a lot of tennis with my dad since the summer. He used to play a lot in college and early years of working and is around a 4.0. He's been playing with an old Head racket for awhile since he lost his old racket (don't even know the brand honestly, I think it was a prestrung one), but I think it's time for an upgrade and have been looking a lot into the best racket for him. He is an all-court player, and is able to sustain pretty intense rallies while running around the court. He approaches the net often and loves to slice (his best shot by far!). He does have shoulder issues though, so stiffness should probably be on the lower end, but he can still generate his own power, so he doesn't need something super light. All this into account, I'm having "analysis paralysis" and need suggestions for rackets along these lines. I've read a few reviews on the Prince Phantom Pro 100, but I'd love to hear other suggestions.
It really depends on how he plays...it would be nice to know which head racquet:)

If he generates all of his own power and still wants to play that way...
Gravity Pro 360+ (weakness hard to maneuver for some at the net.)
Speed Pro 360+ (feel is a little different, plays well for all court players)
Radical Pro 360+

If he wants a little extra pop to take some stress off...
Speed MP 360+
Prince Textreme Tour 290/310
Radical MP 360+

If he wants to take tons of stress off
Prince 107G if he doesn't mind the size(has a little extra pop, but you can reign it in with strings)
Prince Phantom
Wilson Clash

Strings might be another place you can help him. Maybe a good multi string. If you get him a racquet with a little extra pop like the Speed MP stringing with Head Velocity or Techifibre Triax would reign it in a bit. there are also Mulits which give a little extra pop...Natural Gut might be another option. Just make sure it is restrung regularly whichever string you pick. Dead Strings tend to cause issues. If you forced me to pick a short list. Gravity Pro, Speed MP, Prince Textreme Tours or Prince 107g. Nice middle level flex.
 

max

Legend
Ezone 100 in a landslide
I respect atta tau's opinions greatly. But I play tested this and found it kinda light and stiff, not so much feel.

Did not experiment with strings and tension. It was a TW demo. I OPs father isn't in good shape this might work. If he's fit, maybe, maybe not.
 

MixedMaster

Semi-Pro
Being a recent convert to Yonex, and having played with both the Ezone and Vcore, I find the Vcore to be extremely arm friendly and still have enough control and power to handle a 4.0 plus game.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I'm going to suggest the Phantom 107G. As a 56 year old with some arm issues, that racket has a great combination of comfort, spin potential, power and feel. It would appeal to his classic thin beam players racket sensibilities and still provide some pop and forgiveness we can appreciate as our eyes and reflexes age.
I've been using it for a couple months now and I just don't make errors with it. And all the Phantoms slice very well. The 107G has the lowest SW of that class so it will be kind to his shoulder. I purchased mine specifically to be easy serving as I recovered from shoulder injury. Arm feels great and I'm sticking with the frame.

The comfort lines in order of power levels: Clash > Blade =Textreme Tour > Gravity > Phantom
 
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll look into ordering some demos for him to hit around with and get a feel - he isn't very picky, and actually tried out the Babolat Pure Drive 2021 a few days ago and enjoyed it, but from what I read, it could be hard on his arm, especially as a one-hander. The racket he's playing with right now is a Head Titanium 3000 oversized. It's really on its last legs, so hoping to get him a nice one soon
 
Do you happen to know which racquets your Dad used in college and during his early years of working.

Also, what is the old Head racquet that he is playing with now.

Does he have any brand preferences.

The Prince Phantom Pro 100 has received good reviews. I haven't tried it myself.
He says he doesn't really like Wilson, but I don't think he would be opposed to trying out a Clash if I got a demo for him
 

max

Legend
I had rotator cuff as a young man, went to softer frame, Dunlop Max 200G. . . in recent past I had a horrible bout of tennis elbow. Currently using a Volkl C-9 weighted to 12.2 oz. Sometimes a Phantom 93. I'm 57 and fit. If your dad's in good shape, try the Prince Phantoms, 100P.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll look into ordering some demos for him to hit around with and get a feel - he isn't very picky, and actually tried out the Babolat Pure Drive 2021 a few days ago and enjoyed it, but from what I read, it could be hard on his arm, especially as a one-hander. The racket he's playing with right now is a Head Titanium 3000 oversized. It's really on its last legs, so hoping to get him a nice one soon
Do not get the Pure Drive. It's power is seductive but that stiffness is something else. As someone on the forum once said, Babolats are for hard hitting youths with elbows of steel and Old men with bunty strokes.

A Pure Drive killed my arm and led me down the path to comfort frames. I'm not the only one with that story (have at least 4 tennis buddies and a brother in law that got bad TE from stiff power tweeners).
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll look into ordering some demos for him to hit around with and get a feel - he isn't very picky, and actually tried out the Babolat Pure Drive 2021 a few days ago and enjoyed it, but from what I read, it could be hard on his arm, especially as a one-hander. The racket he's playing with right now is a Head Titanium 3000 oversized. It's really on its last legs, so hoping to get him a nice one soon
Had a Head Ti 5000, sweet, 102" head
 

Lorenn

Semi-Pro
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll look into ordering some demos for him to hit around with and get a feel - he isn't very picky, and actually tried out the Babolat Pure Drive 2021 a few days ago and enjoyed it, but from what I read, it could be hard on his arm, especially as a one-hander. The racket he's playing with right now is a Head Titanium 3000 oversized. It's really on its last legs, so hoping to get him a nice one soon
Prince 107G would replace that well...Speed MP, Prince Textreme Tour 290. All three would be great replacements.
 
Seems like the Speed MP is out of stock to demo at TW - chose the Head Graphene 360+ Instinct MP instead based on a comment above, along with the Phantom Pro 100 and a Wilson Clash 100. Not sure if ordering 3 different ones is overkill, but I think this is a nice range of rackets.
 

happyandbob

Professional
Do not get the Pure Drive. It's power is seductive but that stiffness is something else. As someone on the forum once said, Babolats are for hard hitting youths with elbows of steel and Old men with bunty strokes.

A Pure Drive killed my arm and led me down the path to comfort frames. I'm not the only one with that story (have at least 4 tennis buddies and a brother in law that got bad TE from stiff power tweeners).
So true. I never had an elbow problem in my life until I switched to the Pure Drive Tour. 6 months later voila, no tennis for 6 months and 2x physical therapy for 4 months.
 

happyandbob

Professional
Seems like the Speed MP is out of stock to demo at TW - chose the Head Graphene 360+ Instinct MP instead based on a comment above, along with the Phantom Pro 100 and a Wilson Clash 100. Not sure if ordering 3 different ones is overkill, but I think this is a nice range of rackets.
If he's a 4.0, I'll be surprised if he likes the Instinct. My son plays with that racquet and its 315 swingweight. It's very headlight. If you're going with the Clash, might also want to have him try the Clash Pro, the Clash runs a little lighter than the other 100 sq in frames. I played with the Clash Pro (then Tour) for a while, it's a great racquet. No Ezone 100 but great.
 

max

Legend
I'm in his age group and a 4.0 too. He won't like something super stiff. I can second/third the vote for the Yonex Ezone100 as I played if for a few years. Good solid frame. The Prince racquets are great, but I would take a serious look at the Prince Textreme Tour 100P. I think that racquet is the goldilocks frame for guys over 55. Get that one.
I had this TT 100P and can vouch for this.

One thought is the trustworthy Pro Kennex 5G. Great all-around er Men his age, my age, are used to some meat on the bones, but the PK 5G comes in under 12 oz., so potential is there to add lead if/as needed.
 

max

Legend
Do not get the Pure Drive. It's power is seductive but that stiffness is something else. As someone on the forum once said, Babolats are for hard hitting youths with elbows of steel and Old men with bunty strokes.

A Pure Drive killed my arm and led me down the path to comfort frames. I'm not the only one with that story (have at least 4 tennis buddies and a brother in law that got bad TE from stiff power tweeners).
Babolat are notorious.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
If he's a 4.0, I'll be surprised if he likes the Instinct. My son plays with that racquet and its 315 swingweight. It's very headlight. If you're going with the Clash, might also want to have him try the Clash Pro, the Clash runs a little lighter than the other 100 sq in frames. I played with the Clash Pro (then Tour) for a while, it's a great racquet. No Ezone 100 but great.
Instinct is also in the stiff power tweener category I'd not suggest for a 4.0 of this age group.

Also agree the Clash 100 might not be the right one. My wife plays a Clash Tour but my tennis buddies that switched to the clash are using the 98. The 100 is little harder to control and a little light.

I suspect dad will like the free power of the instinct and clash first but if he actually does anything other than just hit, he'll notice the control of the Phantom shining through. But "POWER" sells easy. When was the last time a racket was marketed as "Comfortable control" and became uber popular. It's all about "POWER" and "SPIN"!!!
 
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Rosstour

Hall of Fame
I had this TT 100P and can vouch for this.

One thought is the trustworthy Pro Kennex 5G. Great all-around er Men his age, my age, are used to some meat on the bones, but the PK 5G comes in under 12 oz., so potential is there to add lead if/as needed.
I passed my 7Gs down (up?) to my Dad (71). He loves them.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Facts. It feels like 70% of the adults at the club I play at hit the clash.
Yes that's my experience. Most of the Clash players though seem to be coming from Babolats, Ultras and Burns. So a power tweener that's comfortable is such a relief.

As someone that's been using Prince frames for years, when I try the Clash I just feel "meh" about it. Doesn't seem to offer anything I can't get from a Prince frame. In particular my Phantom 107G does everything my wife's Clash 100 Tour does but with better feedback.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
I'm in my 50's and a former college player.
One of the Clashes or one of the Extremes. Arm-friendly and easy to use.
I used to swing a Prince POG Midpus(93sqin) last year(and still own a Phantom, NXG, POG, etc). I injured my arm, tried out the Clash, and it's my main stick now.
Some folks complain about hollowness or lack of accuracy, but I didn't notice any of that. I use very dead strings at lower tensions.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
360+ Instinct MP has RA of 64. It’s a stretch to call it stiff.
I never trust Heads RAs. They all end up being 62-66 no matter the racket, yet some frames are noticeably harsher than others. Maybe Head did start toning down the Instincts stiffness. But the things are still 26 mm beam so I’d still be skeptical.

With Head I feel always unsure about their comfort. Some models can be excellent and others can feel real tinny and harsh.
 

Dragy

Legend
I never trust Heads RAs. They all end up being 62-66 no matter the racket, yet some frames are noticeably harsher than others. Maybe Head did start toning down the Instincts stiffness. But the things are still 26 mm beam so I’d still be skeptical.

With Head I feel always unsure about their comfort. Some models can be excellent and others can feel real tinny and harsh.
Well I agree it's always best to try before you committ to it. Seems OP and his farther have that luxury - so curious what they end up with.
My farther will be 65 next February. Fit and competitive. Plays with 10 y.o. Bab Drive Z-tour - PD cheaper clone, on the light side and almost EB with 325 SW. Need to assault him once again to force towards more healthy equipment. Otherwise he'll finally make his short TE breaks into half-year TE breaks...
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
I agree. The most misleading a thing when talking of racquet is to group them like player's/tweener's/beginner's racquets. There is no such a thing.
We used to call lighter racquets with some stiffness 'tweeners'. Now they are usually just called 'racquets' ;)
However, it is good to see the industry has found out how to make racquets more forgiving to the arm, and still retain their spin and power.
The Extreme series is a good example. My wife is now using a 2019(or is it a 2018?) Extreme lite coming from a WIlson 97s and arm problems.
It is stupid light, but also amazingly flexible, stable and controllable. Witchcraft!
I often use it for doubles. And I own a Clash! Thinking of getting one for myself now, actually...
Some say the Clash and Extreme are not great for flat hitters, but I think that may apply more towards how they feel or for folks that can wave around heavier frames.
If you are OK with the feel, the Extremes and the Clashes will put the ball where you are aiming. Smashes, serves, drive volleys, all go where I aim with either racquet.
I didn't like the touch volleys on the Clash at first, but using stiffer strings at low tensions solved that issue with a bit more pocketing and feel.
But, like with anything in life, you get used to what you have.
 
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ichaseballs

Rookie
strings and tension are both major factors that will change the feel of any racquet.

i stick with my original suggestion. 1. prostaff 2. clash
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
We used to call lighter racquets with some stiffness 'tweeners'. Now they are usually just called 'racquets' ;)
However, it is good to see the industry has found out how to make racquets more forgiving to the arm, and still retain their spin and power.
The Extreme series is a good example. My wife is now using a 2019(or is it a 2018?) Extreme lite coming from a WIlson 97s and arm problems.
It is stupid light, but also amazingly flexible, stable and controllable. Witchcraft!
I often use it for doubles. And I own a Clash! Thinking of getting one for myself now, actually...
Some say the Clash and Extreme are not great for flat hitters, but I think that may apply more towards how they feel or for folks that can wave around heavier frames.
If you are OK with the feel, the Extremes and the Clashes will put the ball where you are aiming. Smashes, serves, drive volleys, all go where I aim with either racquet.
I didn't like the touch volleys on the Clash at first, but using stiffer strings at low tensions solved that issue with a bit more pocketing and feel.
But, like with anything in life, you get used to what you have.
Still own a Head Extreme Pro from 2009. Surprised this generation is more flexible
 

cmmarcoux

New User
strings and tension are both major factors that will change the feel of any racquet.
Definitely agree. The coach I'm working with offered to string one of my frames with RPM Blast at 50lbs, to prove a point. I was using the TW string database, and taking the stiffness ratings as gospel. I never would have tried RPM Blast, because at 1.25mm it's something like 50lbs stiffer than what I had been using. But it didn't feel nearly as harsh as I would have expected, from the database. And more important, after two weeks, my arm hasn't complained once. Best guess is that the strings have a bit more pop than I'm used to, so it's easier to dial back a bit. I do feel the increased stiffness when I flatten out and try to crush a ball, but since I don't try to crush winners on every shot, it's not a huge deal.

I'm not saying the database is useless . . . just that's it's dangerous to rely on just one metric to tell the entire story.
 
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WYK

Hall of Fame
Still own a Head Extreme Pro from 2009. Surprised this generation is more flexible
They made some very flexible ones the last couple of years, but it seems it's gone back up in stiffness since.
Shrug.
Definitely agree. The coach I'm working with offered to string one of my frames with RPM Blast at 50lbs, to prove a point. I was using the TW string database, and taking the stiffness ratings as gospel. I never would have tried RPM Blast, because at 1.25mm it's something like 50lbs stiffer than what I had been using. But it didn't feel nearly as harsh as I would have expected, from the database. And more important, after two weeks, my arm hasn't complained once.

I'm not saying the database is useless . . . just that's it's dangerous to rely on just one metric to tell the entire story.
I find the black RPM Blast to be a great string. It just doesn't keep it's feel for as long as others do. Still, one of my favourite strings to cross with Hyper G. I also like Revolve black and white as well.
Tha database is a very, very rough estimate of how the stuff will feel on court. A guide. Everything has it's own feel.
 

ryushen21

Hall of Fame
Ezone 100 in a landslide
Couldn't agree more. It checks off so many boxes.

I respect atta tau's opinions greatly. But I play tested this and found it kinda light and stiff, not so much feel.

Did not experiment with strings and tension. It was a TW demo. I OPs father isn't in good shape this might work. If he's fit, maybe, maybe not.
As with any racquet, strings play a big factor in feel. The EZone definitely has a stiffer throat but a more flexible hoop. In the past I've run screaming from anything an RA over 65 for fear that my arm would rebel against me and just fall off of its own volition. The current EZone does not have a stiff feel to me at all. It is not harsh or jarring. Now, I do string with full poly around 48lbs so if discomfort were to be detected, I suspect I would have found some trace of it by now.

At the very least, I think the EZone is worth a demo.
 
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